Re: Task-based documentation-best practice

Subject: Re: Task-based documentation-best practice
From: Steven Brown <stevenabrown -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 09:34:57 -0800 (PST)

>From what you've told us, it sounds like you can
continue with a task-focused format. I'm not sure the
"business" task versus "tool" task distinction is
important; it's really about the user -- user tasks.
Every action the user takes is toward performing a
goal. Anything less and it's entertainment.

So to continue your paint program analogy, where the
user might or might not use a variety of tools (in any
sequence), you should still see a common theme among
them, which will allow you to structure the
documentation appropriately. For example:

Chapter 5: Working with Objects
A. Creating an Object
B. Saving an Object
C. Manipulating an Object
1. Resizing
2. Changing colors
3. Adding sub-objects

...and so on.

Even though you're documenting how to use individual
tools, those tools are used within larger tasks. Even
without a hyperlinking capability, you can refer to
those tool tasks using "see" references within other
tasks. For example:

When you convert an image from an earlier version of
AcmeTool, you can make the following changes:

- resize
- change colors
- add sub-objects

For detailed instructions on making these changes, see
section C.

Hope this helps. Sometimes it's challenging to discuss
these things using hypothetical examples!

Steven Brown
Senior Technical Writer


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References:
Task-based documentation-best practice: From: etienneg

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